Shootouts and workshops

It has dawned on me that lots of people don’t know the difference between a Shootout or Workshop. I pretend to not have it drive me crazy, but I’ll be honest, and want you to keep this to yourself; IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!!

There is a huge difference between the two and for me, calling one the other is a huge problem. They both have differing target audiences and if they aren’t ran properly, they both can be disasters. We will pick Shootouts first.


  • Gathering of models and photographers
  • Zero instruction given
  • Most times, falsely advertised as “portfolio building”
  • Cash grab
  • Usually poorly organized in-so-much as its just “Grab a model and go”
  • Great for exposure to new models and photographers
  • Great way to learn from others albeit posing or shooting

Shootouts typically have no direction as the one putting it on, is usually doing it for a cash grab. They deserve cash since they are putting the event together and getting the models for you. Make no mistake. But if you’re a novice or new shooter, these event’s aren’t for you. In the event you’re a new photographer, or you don’t understand lighting, these events will get you the same quality photos that you do on your own. You may get lucky and find the right settings, or someone that will tell you what settings they use, but you should have at least a decent understanding of lighting and posing before you run to one of these events.


  • Gathering of photographers
  • Usually professional models provided
  • Usually includes H/MUA
  • Provides instruction
  • Photographer presenter usually explains in great detail, how and why s/he does what they do
  • Allows you to take limited images to show you what you can do
  • More expensive since you’re actually learning

If you are newer to photography, or even if you’re a vet, but looking to learn something new, workshops are great. As with everything, you need to vet the photographer that is putting it on and make sure they not only have the style you want to base your work off of, but that they can continuously shoot amazing, or images you like to see. Some photographers in the past have gone to shootouts or other workshops, got great images and got home and threw the images on their page and pretended they shot that. So it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to the photog if you’re unfamiliar with their work and ask them questions. Your gut will let you know if you need to move on, or invest. The workshop is focused on inspiring you, where as the shootout is about getting you content, or getting you in front o a bunch of pretty faces.

If you’re looking for a good workshop, here’s a quick, off the top of my head list of people that you should reach out to. These photographers are known by me and are those whom I highly recommend. Some I’ve even gone to their events (These are in no particular order, just off the top of my limited brain).

Nino Batista

Keith Major

Stevie Reid

Dr. Tomayia Colvin

Gary Box

Jay Kilgore (Shameless plug. I’m getting back into it 2nd quarter 2023)




Nino Batista

Jay Kilgore (You’re already here, no need to link me yet again)

Hope that helps you understand the difference between workshop and shootout. For love of everything holy, please stop conflating the two!




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